NAMPA — Even though Skyview High School plans to hold a traditional graduation ceremony in July, the school still found a special way to mark what was supposed to be its commencement ceremony on Tuesday.
Graduating seniors participated in a parade stretching from Skyview to Liberty Park and back to the school again. A DJ on a float leading the parade announced the name of each graduate.
It was important to hold an event on the original date, because many seniors had been counting down the days to their graduation, school counselor Mallory Essman said.
“They have memorized that date,” she said.
The Nampa School District’s other high schools are also honoring graduates this week, with in-person ceremonies postponed to June 29 and July 1.
Nampa High School held a celebration parade Wednesday, while the Union High School and Columbia High School events will take place Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Essman said on the day of Skyview’s parade, staff were concerned about how many people would show up because of the rain. Despite the poor weather, she estimated about 200 cars of students made up the parade, and senior Hansen Lungren estimated more than 1,000 spectators lined the parade route.
To maintain social distancing, Essman said spectators were asked to keep separated along the path of the parade. The students were asked to remain in their vehicles during the parade setup, and they were not allowed to toss candy out to spectators, as they normally do during parades, she said.
Though it wasn’t what anyone envisioned for the original graduation day, Essman said students took the parade in stride and got creative with their vehicles. One student fixed a graduation cap to their car, while another created a tropical scene in the back of a flat bed truck, and sat on a lawn chair through the parade, despite getting soaked in the process.
“Poor guy was probably freezing,” Essman said.
For Lungren, the parade is the only school-organized graduation ceremony he’ll get. He plans to leave for a two-year mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June.
Despite this, Lungren said he is pleased with how the remainder of his senior year went. He said he gets to spend more time with his family before leaving for his mission, and the celebration parade was a pleasant surprise. Family members who planned to attend his original graduation were at least able to cheer him on during the parade.